transporting bikes by air on a tour

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by challenger, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. challenger

    challenger New Member

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    I'm planning on doing a trip from Vienna to Budapest in a couple of months. I'm going to need to fly my bike with me to Vienna, and then back from Budapest. The question is how to pack it for the journey - I can't take one of those nice bike travel bags, cos I'd have carry the bulky bag with me hte duration of the tour. I suppose I could get a cardboard bike box for the outward journey, but what then? Any ideas? Or does anyone know what the airline requirements are for packing bikes?
     
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  2. irishpacker

    irishpacker New Member

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    I'm currently in the same pickle! From what I understand most airports sell bike boxes from the luggage area. though I wouldn't count on it! Best bet would be to either A)check for sure the airport sells bike boxes at check-in. B) Find a shop in the city you're going to, they'll help you out. or C) Find a hardware store in wherever you are going and construct a Frankenstien bike box out of bubble wrap, sello-tape and corregated cardbord!

    All that is fairly obvious I know, but I cant see any other options other than these!

    Cheers mate, and good luck!
     
  3. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    Check with the airline you will use.
    Swiss Air has the following on thier site:
    "Packing
    We recommend you to pack the bicycle in a hard-shelled bike container, cardboard box or plastic bag. It is mandatory to rotate the handle bar 90 degrees, lower it to the maximum and tighten it in this position and lower the saddle to the maximum. Please also remove the front wheel and attach it to the frame.

    If your bicycle is not already packed, special cardboard box or plastic bags are available at SWISS check-in counter to protect the bicycle and prevent it from damaging other baggage.

    In such cases the above mentioned service charge applies and includes the cardboard box (length 162 cm, height 92 cm, width 24 cm)."
    If it wer my bicycle, I would arrange to have it packed at a known competent bicycle shop at your destination, or if you have the time, materials, and competence... do-it-your-self. You can usually find a shop that will give you or sell you the materials.
    Pipe insulation, zip ties, double sided velcro, bubble-wrap, etc. are all great things when it comes to doing the job. If you are going to do-it-your-self I suggest getting the materials and practicing a few times to make sure you are totally comfortable with the process.
    I dealt with this issue a lot and there is no easy answer. I settled on a S & S coupled bicycle and shipped the empty case to my departure hotel on many occasions. You need to do a lot of "ground" work ahead of time. Locating bicycle shops ahead of time is always a good practice so you know where to get a needed part, tool, or assistance in case you need it.
    Think of any/all the special tools you will need to take along ,.. like a pedal wrench, and make sure you have them and/or know how you will get them.
     
  4. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. Here's my recommendation:



    FIND a corrugated cardboard bike box (as close to new as possible) that is an acceptable size to the airline ... you may need a second box for the front wheel.

    DETERMINE where you will be staying ... store the box(es) with them in its FLATTENED state if you're going to be away & touring ... a small/appropriate tip will probably suffice (they will certainly recommend something beforehand, OR you should remember to tip whoever stores the box afterwards ... allow, I suppose, a Euro-a-day).

    Use your clothing to pad/wrap most of the frame/etc. Use re-sealable plastic bags for ALL of the small parts & maybe a 33-or-66 meter ROLL of plastic food wrap + a couple of plastic garbage bags for your wheels. BRING stuff (paper towels) to wipe/clean the bike off before you repack it to take home.

    DON'T forget to have a marking pen OR a pre-printed label with your "home"-or-work address (and, initial travel destination, too) for the outside & inside of the carton.

    REMEMBER to bring a roll of "clear"-or-tan packing tape so you can reconstruct the box(es)!





     
  5. teigeman

    teigeman New Member

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    I finally invested in a 'real' bike shipping container, and now I simply make arrangements to store it somewhere while I am touring. This assumes that you are departing out of the same town you arrived through - but I think you'll find it pretty easy to find a bike shop or hotel/hostel that'll agree to store the crate for you, maybe for a nominal fee. I have also found gas stations and campgrounds that agreed to hold the container for me, so don't limit yourself to just bike shops when searching.

    sounds like a great trip, enjoy!

    tg
     
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